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How to Become a Data Reporting Analyst: Education and Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a data reporting analyst. Learn about the job duties and read the step-by-step process to start a career as a data reporting analyst. View article »

  • 0:00 What Is a Data…
  • 0:47 Career Requirements
  • 1:27 Steps for Data…

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Video Transcript

What Is a Data Reporting Analyst?

Data reporting analysts work in multiple industries analyzing databases to find particular trends and patterns. Based on requested data sets, they create databases and produce reports to help companies find areas for improvement.

Many data reporting analysts work full-time, although longer hours may be required in order to meet project deadlines. While some such analysts are employees of large corporations, others work for consulting services. In addition to analysis skills, data reporting analysts must be able to communicate well with company leadership about their findings. Analysts spend a good portion of their working hours in an office setting, using computers to compile and generate data.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree; some employers prefer master's degree
Degree Fields Business administration, information technology, or related areas
Key Skills Customer-service, problem-solving, listening, communication, decision-making, and critical-thinking skills; knowledge of Microsoft SQL and Microsoft Office
Median Salary (2015)* $62,150 (for market research analysts)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Online job postings (January 2013)

Steps for Data Reporting Analysts

You can take these three steps to become a data reporting analyst.

Step 1: Earn Your Bachelor's Degree

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook (2016-17 edition), market research analyst positions typically required a bachelor's degree, and some employers preferred a master's degree. Data reporting analysts who wish to work in a specific area, such as banking or healthcare, may want to focus their degree program in the appropriate discipline; for instance, those interested in gaining an understanding of the banking industry may choose a degree in finance or economics.

Success Tip:

Get experience while attending school. Job postings showed that most employers preferred data reporting analysts with 1-5 years of experience, depending on the position's level. Internships during an undergraduate program can provide aspiring data reporting analysts with real-world experience. Some employers who offer internships to college students might also be willing to hire them as entry-level employees upon graduation.

Step 2: Gain Relevant Computer Skills

Companies use multiple types of software programs, each with a slightly different operating system and computer language. Employers often prefer applicants trained in specific programs, like Microsoft SQL. Some computer classes are offered in undergraduate classes, but some industry-specific software, such as healthcare software, may not be mentioned in degree programs.

Success Tip:

Look for training through software vendors. Often, mainstream vendors in the computer industry, such as Microsoft, offer training classes and certification programs for their products. For example, SQL server certifications are available for associate, master, and expert levels. Earning such a credential could demonstrate an applicant's knowledge of and expertise with Microsoft SQL.

Step 3: Earn Your Master's Degree

While a master's degree may not be required, completing a graduate degree program can often lead to new employment prospects and increased pay.

After receiving bachelor's, and sometimes master's, degrees, data reporting analysts create databases, analyze data, and produce reports for organizational leaders. Their strengths are in communications and computer software, and their median annual salary is $62,150.

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